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Gerald Clayton Trio featuring Joe Sanders and Kendrick Scott at Nighttown

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Gerald Clayton Trio Nighttown Cleveland, Ohio May 16, 2017 Much like the politics of today, everything seems to come in extremes. So much of what passes for modern jazz today veers too far to the left, often opting for the esoteric and anarchism merely for the sake of being different. As an analogy, one could be different by merely building a house with no roof. But in the final analysis, such an effort would just ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gato Libre: Neko

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Trumpeter Natsuki Tamura's Gato Libre could now be called Gato Diferente. The group's lineup changed five albums into its journey, after the release of Forever (Libra Records, 2011), with the death of bassist Norikatsu Koreyasu. And changed again with the addition--after Norikatsu's passing--of trombonist Yasuko Kaneko. Then, in 2015, the group's guitarist, Kazuhiko Tsumura passed, leaving Tamura and Satoko Fujii--who plays accordion in the group, rather than her more customary piano--and the leader, Tamura, as the sole original members of ...

BAILEY'S BUNDLES

Blue Beatles – Mick Kolassa / Mark Telesca And Organissimo

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The Beatles songbook has been coming into blues and jazz focus over the last decade as evidenced in the recordings The Blues White Album (Telarc, 2003) and Let It Be Jazz: Connie Evingson Sings The Beatles (Summit Records, 2003). Two recent records pop to the surface reprising this interest. Mick Kolassa & Mark Telesca You Can't Do That!--Acoustic Beatles Blues Swing Suit Records 2017 The Beatles songbook is a hard sell ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Fabian Almazan: Alcanza

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When his debut record, Personalities, was released in 2011, pianist Fabian Almazan put everyone on notice: this was a musician unafraid to take some big chances with his craft. That album began with a piece by Shostakovich (augmented with a string quartet and electronics, no less), and it effectively established the trajectory Almazan has continued ever since, in which classical, Latin, and post-bop jazz-based musical languages fuse together in ways that are consistently startling and path-breaking. Although he's proven himself ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Shawn Thwaites Rebel Quartet: New Life

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If there's one impression about Shawn Thwaites that jumps out at first glance, it's a willingness to jokingly twist expectations. The Trinidadian-American's music is billed as “modern jazz intertwining hip-hop, funk and calypso"--a blending just as offbeat as his choice of steel drums as main instrument--and his Rebel Quartet actually turns out to have six members. The band shows the same defiant and carefree attitude throughout their debut New Life, making for a listen as zesty and colorful as its ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jazzmeia Horn: A Social Call

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Coming from a gospel oriented family in Dallas, Texas, given a unique name and early tutelage by her piano playing grandmother, Jazzmeia Horn was destined to be a jazz singer. After relocating to New York City to pursue music studies, she went on to conquer the 2013 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Competition, topping that by winning the Thelonious Monk Institute International Jazz Competition in 2015. All of this preparation and recognition has culminated in her debut release A Social Call, ...

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The Ambrose Akinmusire Quartet at the Library of Congress

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The Ambrose Akinmusire Quartet The Library of Congress Washington, D.C. May 20, 2017 Although he only has two major label releases to his name, Ambrose Akinmusire has established himself as one of the most exciting trumpet players in recent years. The last appearance he made on a recording was Wolfgang Muthspiel's 2016 album Rising Grace (ECM Records). The fact that the jny: Oakland-born trumpet player appeared on that thoroughly enjoyable album alongside no less than ...

HISTORY OF JAZZ

Philadelphia Jazz: A Brief History

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This article was first published at the Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia website. Jazz began to emerge as a distinct musical style around the turn of the twentieth century, a merging of two vernacular African American musical styles--ragtime and blues--with elements of popular music. New Orleans, the “cradle of jazz," was the most important city in this process, with jny: Chicago and New York playing particularly significant roles in the 1920s and 1930s. By the mid-twentieth century Philadelphia had ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Andreas Schaerer/Hildegard Lernt Fliegen meets the Orchestra of the Lucerne Festival Academy: The Big Wig

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The Orchestra of the Lucerne Festival Academy and the sextet Hildegard Lernt Fliegen come below Andreas Schaerer on the billing on this CD/DVD offering, suggesting the star quality of this unique contemporary composer/vocalist. The Big Wig suite--composed and orchestrated by Schaerer--comprises newly composed material and reworkings of several tunes from Hildegard Lernt Fliegen's The Fundamental Rhythms of Unpolished Brains (2014). Schearer's wildly colorful, idiosyncratic narratives and his operatic vocals lend themselves well to the orchestral setting, while the sextet that ...


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